Lazy Bear’s New Wine Program Launches With Over 1200 Labels

The open kitchen and dining room at Lazy Bear
The open kitchen and dining room at Lazy Bear

Photo Credit: Kassie Borreson

For a specific type of San Franciscan, there is only one reason to visit the Mission District: to enjoy dinner at Lazy Bear. Now there’s another reason: to enjoy wine at Lazy Bear. The popular two Michelin-starred restaurant has unveiled a comprehensive new wine list and announced an exciting mezzanine program.

Matthew Dulle
Matthew Dulle

Photo Credit: Steven Petersen

Beverage director Matthew Dulle has curated a list of over 1000 bottles and is opening up the extensive cellar to wine lovers. Dulle spent two years building the cellar and sourced bottles from all over the world. His collection includes old, historical bottles from famed California producers like Ridge Vineyards (he has over 60 different labels) and classic Napa Cab and Bordeaux.

Lazy Bear
Lazy Bear

Photo Credit: Kassie Borreson

Dulle’s list focuses on wines that he loves to drink and taste good. “We don’t strive to highlight a specific region or style. We want to give our guests access to wines that can excite and surprise, the way our cuisine can,” he says. “Whether that is a rare bottle of Bordeaux from the 1920s, an unexpectedly stunning California Zinfandel from the 1970s, or even a current release from a small producer that excites us, we have it and want to share.”

The den at Lazy Bear
The den at Lazy Bear

Photo Credit: Candida Wohlgemuth

To ensure that oenophiles have plenty of access to the great wine, the team is introducing The Lazy Bear Den. It’s for people who want to sip a glass of wine, but not commit to the ticketed multi-course meal. Guests can try any of the 1000 wines and order bites from a limited menu of a la carte dishes. The den is located upstairs above the dining room. With its cozy cabin decor, the upstairs is the perfect place to indulge in a glass or two now in winter. Order the grill-your-own s’mores, and you’re in for a real treat of redwood marshmallows, dark chocolate, and house-made graham crackers.

The Yosemite mural in Lazy Bear's dining room
The Yosemite mural in Lazy Bear’s dining room

Photo Credit: Candida Wohlgemuth

Diners who are coming in for the complete Lazy Bear experience are encouraged to check out the new wine offerings in advance. One of the restaurant’s sommeliers is happy to work with guests to set up the ideal wine pairing. Their wine philosophy? “Ultimately the purpose of the program is to make fantastic wine accessible to all who walk through the doors at Lazy Bear, however they choose to integrate it into their experience,” Dulles explains.

Dulle with a six-liter bottle of Robert Mondavi
Dulle with a six-liter bottle of Robert Mondavi 1978

Photo Credit: @lazybearsf

To celebrate the den and wine list, Lazy Bear recently hosted an exclusive party. Upon arrival, guests were given a glass of Bollinger Grande Année Brut 2002 and a small brown leather notebook. Inside was a whimsical wine label drawing. To promote mingling and discussion about the wine, partygoers were told to find three other people who had the same image in their notebook. Once the group of four was formed, Dulles opened the bottle (like Beaulieu Vineyard “Burgundy” Napa Valley 1974 and Tobias Zu Müstert Piesporter Guntherslay Auslese Riesling 1970) that was depicted in the drawing.

Sweetbreads
Sweetbreads

Photo Credit: @lazybearsf

The kitchen sent out a variety of incredible snacks including broiled oysters with smoked leek glacage, halibut skewers with preserved lemon hollandaise, fried sweetbreads with preserved allium ranch. Chef David Barzelay’s cranberry miso soup was a revelation—and so good that the restaurant could sell it in mason jars to cure colds.

Chef David Bar
Chef David Barzelay

Photo Credit: Finch Photography

Lazy Bear started as a pop-up dinner experience in Barzelay’s kitchen before turning into one of the city’s most iconic restaurants. Today, nine years later, and the restaurant continues to be an innovator in both the wine and food arenas. The wine list and den will officially debut on December 1 and reservations are required.

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